A NIGHT WITH THE SPHINX
r i ^HE last hungry tourist had gone; the last black-I robed guide had repeated, for the thousandth time, I his smattering of superficial lore for the benefit of
JL alien visitors to his ancient land; and a group of tired donkeys and weary, snarling camels had hastened homewards with their last riders for the day.
The fall of dusk upon the Egyptian scene is an unforgettable event, an event of unearthly beauty. Everything is transformed in colour and the most vivid contrasts come into being between sky and earth.
I sat alone on the yielding yellow sand before the stately, regal figure of the crouching Sphinx, a little to one side, watching with fascinated eyes the wonderful play of ethereal colours which swiftly appear and as swiftly pass when the dying sun no longer covers Egypt with golden glory. For who can receive the sacred message which is given him by the beautiful, mysterious afterglow of an African sunset, without being taken into a temporary paradise? So long as men are not entirely coarse and spiritually dead, so long will they continue to love the Father of Life, the sun, which makes these things possible by its unique sorceries. They were not fools, those ancients, who revered Ra, the great light, and took it into their hearts as a god.
First it had rested low in the sky, magnificently flaming all heaven a glistening red, a red like that of glowing embers. Then the colouring toned down and a soft rosy coral flush spread across the horizon, Softer yet it became until, like a rainbow, a half-dozen different hues, from rose-pink to green and gold, made a fitful bid for life. Finally it moved to a